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London Olympics journey planner crash effort launched

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Transport for London (TfL) is running a high-speed procurement of a freight journey planner for the Olympic Games, with a tender in the Official Journal of the European Union, marked as an accelerated procedure and deemed "time-critical".

The tender notice for a web-based system and interactive map application specifies just five months between the inception meeting at the end of September and the launch in February next year. TfL declined to disclose further information about the reason for its strict schedule or the system's projected cost, claiming the information is "commercially sensitive" as the tendering process is currently active.

The journey planner application should enable operators to plan efficient journeys during next year's Olympic Games and minimise disruption caused by road closures and restrictions. It should also make it possible to factor congestion levels into journey times, indicate the closest legal stopping point from the destination and take into account physical road restrictions, such as maximum height and weight.

A TfL spokeswoman told GGC: "The planner will provide a freight journey planner and interactive map and will help operators plan their journeys efficiently and in compliance with some of the traffic changes that will be necessary (regulatory, diversional and by vehicle size) to ensure successful delivery and minimal disruption during games-time."

When asked if the system would be used to deal with disruptions caused by the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and Paralympic Route Network (PRN), which will shuttle athletes around London, the spokeswoman said: "The vast majority of the ORN and PRN will be open to general traffic. To keep traffic moving along the ORN routes some temporary traffic changes will be necessary. These changes might include different signal timings, side road closures or the suspension of parking, loading and waiting bays.

"As stated in the tender document, the FJP will form an essential tool for operators to plan journeys efficiently and in compliance with the temporary traffic changes that may be necessary."

The tender comes just a few weeks before the first freight Olympic Working Group meeting is due to be held on 8 September.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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